Grammar Patterns

Vocative nouns

The 'love' group

These nouns are used to address someone in an affectionate or informal way. Boss, doc, gaffer, guv, guvnor, padre, prof, and skipper are used to address someone with a particular job or rank informally. Boy is sometimes used when addressing a dog, and puss is used when addressing a cat.
Hey, doc, when are you going to get me out of here?
Sorry, folks, can't be done.
We'll miss you, lad.
Don't worry, love.
Some vocative nouns showing affection are sometimes used with the determiner my. They are marked with an asterisk (*) in the list below.
Off you go, my darlings.
My dear, you have a very difficult time ahead.
  • babe
  • baby
  • boss
  • boy*
  • bud
  • buddy
  • chum
  • darling
  • dear*
  • dearest*
  • dearie
  • doc
  • duck*
  • folks
  • gaffer
  • gal*
  • gents
  • girl*
  • guv
  • guvnor
  • guys
  • honey
  • kid
  • lad*
  • laddie*
  • lady
  • lass*
  • lassie*
  • love*
  • luv
  • man
  • mate
  • matey
  • Miss
  • missus
  • mister
  • Paddy
  • padre
  • pal
  • pet*
  • prof
  • puss
  • sarge
  • skipper
  • son
  • sonny
  • squire
  • sucker
  • sugar
  • sweet*
  • sweetheart*
  • sweetie*
  • woman
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